Nature has a way of providing us with what we need, when we need it. That’s especially true when it comes to the foods that become available with each season. Autumn brings with it a bounty of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that nourish the body and support health and well-being, making it the harvest season. Being aware of seasonal foods and attuning your diet to your body’s needs is a great way to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Preparing for Winter
The harvest season is a time to prepare your body for the cold winter ahead. Your diet should shift toward richer, denser foods that will provide you with extra energy and warmth. Consider increasing your intake of protein, fats, and whole grains but be sure to keep up your exercise program, to control weight gain.
Nourish the Immune System
Nourishing your immune system is also very important during the harvest season. Take advantage of dark green and golden-orange vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene to strengthen the body’s Wei Qi (immune system). These include carrots, pumpkin, squash, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, and many more.
It’s important to maintain the body’s balance during this season by adding sour foods such as sauerkraut, leeks, yogurt, and sour apples to your diet. Pungent foods such as garlic, turnips, and horseradish should also be added to your autumn diet, since they cleanse and protect the lungs.
Harvest Season Sips
It’s important to moderate caffeine during this season. As autumn settles in, it’s common to feel a little more tired than usual which could lead to more coffee. Before you lift that next cup, consider making a healthy change to tea or bone broth. A cup of bone broth in the morning may eliminate the need for caffeine all together with it’s energy boosting properties.
Tea has been found to have a variety of health benefits, including protecting against heart disease and some types of cancer. It’s great at reducing inflammation and blood pressure, and even increasing bone density. Green and white teas contain especially high amounts of antioxidants, which protect against cellular damage.
And if you’re ready to really up your harvest season foods, consider cooking with herbs. Jonathan Fleming L.Ac. reviews how to cook with a Chinese herbal soup mix:
These are just simple suggestions. Consult with your acupuncturist or healthcare provider reporting dietary changes you are considering.